ROSLYN - An innovative heart procedure was performed twice this week on a pair of young Russian girls at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn.
Pediatric cardiologist Dr. Sean Levchuck says each of the girls had holes in the lower chambers of their hearts, which is very difficult to close through a minimally invasive procedure. He says these typically require major open-heart operations with lots of recovery time needed in the ICU.
Levchuk used a catheter-based approach and performed the operation through the groin and neck. The two catheters came together at the heart where Levchuk then inserted a titanium device to plug hole.
The difficult procedure was the first-of-its-kind on Long Island.
Katya and Anastasia were brought to the U.S. through a program called the Russian Gift of Life, a humanitarian organization that has helped more than 400 children in Russia to receive life-saving procedures.
The girls say they can't wait to get back home, where they can run and dance.